Rising Stars 0 Reprint Synopsis
"Initiations: A lost tale of the Specials"
Slappy the Clown welcomes the Specials to their new home. The children, who Slappy assumes are in the third or fourth grade, will be living and going to school here. Security cameras monitor every angle of the walled compound, and guards lurk behind the corners.
Slappy leads the children into a dormitory, carrying on a monologue that is not always intended for the children's ears. He is apprehensive that all the guards are outside while he is alone inside with the children. He's heard that the children are strong, and hopes that they aren't dangerous.
Slappy show the children their rooms while futilely trying to lighten the mood. The nervous clown pulls a flask from his baggy pants and takes a swig. He confirms a girl's guess that he is drinking "vitamin juice", adding that his nerves wouldn't need calming if the guards were with him like they are supposed to be.
He shows the children a classroom, and encourages them to study hard and be good. He almost pleads with the children to grow up to be good. He mutters to himself that children shouldn't grow up to be like his wife. She ran off with a circus geek that earned twenty dollars a week more than Slappy, regardless of the fact that he had the added expense of chickens. Slappy degenerates into bitter contemplation of his wife kissing someone who bites off chicken heads before realizing that he still has an audience.
Still nipping periodically from his flask, Slappy leads them to the clinic. He promises them the best medical care possible. When a girl begins crying, he realizes that through the portal is a sterile examination room with scary and dangerous equipment hanging from the ceiling. A masked doctor holding a syringe stands beside a hard examination table with restraints. Slappy presses a button labeled "Screen" that causes the examination room to be superimposed by the image of a friendly pediatrician's office. A smiling nurse holds a lollypop beside a comfy examination bed, and stuffed animals decorate the room. Slappy definitely needs another drink after this mistake.
Slappy takes the children outside to the play yard. Barbed wire tops the wall of the courtyard. He says they can play here when the doctors aren't testing their speed, strength, and flying abilities. This leads him to mumble about his incredulity that some of these children can actually fly.
Slappy concludes the tour by telling the children that they will live here for the next 12 to 18 years unless the Supreme Court says otherwise.
He finishes off his flask and asks the children not to tell anyone about his "vitamin juice". He promises that the children can see and visit their parents, but they'll have to spend most of their time in this compound because they're special. He jokes that no one knows why they are special and asks the children if they are looking forward to moving in.
The children stare at him with unconcealed anger until one quietly says, "Get him."
A battered Slappy the Clown makes it inside with his clothes torn. As the super-strong children batter through the bolted steel door, Slappy predicts that they will be big trouble someday.